Blue Canyon Technologies Selected by Ball Aerospace to Provide Spacecraft Bus for NASA Solar Cruiser Program
Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX), was selected by Ball Aerospace to develop a standardized X-SAT Venus ESPA-class microsatellite bus and several custom components to enable an upcoming one-of-a-kind mission with NASA for the Solar Cruiser project.
As the largest planned solar sail to date, the 18,000 square-foot sail is a third the size of a football field. The Solar Cruiser: “Sailing on Sunlight” mission is being led by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center out of Huntsville, Alabama. Ball Aerospace will perform several mission-critical functions, including the integration and test of the satellite bus with the solar sail system that will form the completed “Sailcraft.” Other partners on the mission include Roccor, NeXolve, SDL, Purdue University, and the University of Alabama. According to NASA, Solar Cruiser will mature solar sail propulsion technology to enable near-term, compelling space science missions for NASA and the nation. NASA is expected to formally confirm the Solar Cruiser mission in 2022.
“Our high-performing spacecraft, components and systems are designed to meet each mission’s specific needs,” said Stephen Steg, CEO of Blue Canyon Technologies.
BCT will support custom guidance navigation and control software and provide custom solar arrays aboard the mission scheduled for launch no earlier than 2025. Solar Cruiser is one of four missions that will rideshare with the launch of NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP). The Solar Cruiser is the culmination of two decades of U.S. solar sail development and will allow space missions to new locations.
About Blue Canyon Technologies
Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, offers a diverse portfolio of innovative, reliable and affordable spacecraft that enable a broad range of missions and technological advancements for the new space economy, reducing the barriers of space entry. BCT is currently supporting nearly 50 unique missions with over 90 spacecraft, all in production at their newly developed 80,000-square-foot facility in Lafayette, Colorado.
BCT has supported missions for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats, which successfully traveled to Mars. The company has been recognized with awards from Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, the 2020 Best in Biz Award and the 2020 Tibbetts Award.
For the latest news on Blue Canyon Technologies and for other company information, please visit www.bluecanyontech.com. You can follow the company on Instagram here or Twitter here.
About Raytheon Intelligence & Space
Raytheon Intelligence & Space delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, training, and cyber and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers in more than 46 countries around the world. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the business generated $15 billion in pro forma annual revenue in 2020 and has 37,000 employees worldwide. Raytheon Intelligence & Space is one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies Corporation.